Civil War Period Mourning Brooch of Elizabeth Bernard Meredith


Civil War Period Mourning Brooch of Elizabeth Bernard Meredith - This Civil War period mourning brooch was obtained by Perry Adams Antiques directly from the lineal descendants of the Cocke and Meredith families. Both the Cockes, owners of “Derwent”, the Powhatan County, Virginia home where Robert E. Lee stayed during the summer of 1865, to recuperate after the Civil War ended, and the Merediths (the family of Judge John A. Meredith, prominent Richmond attorney and one of three Richmond leaders who handed the city over to Union General Weitzel on April 3, 1865), had townhouses, on Franklin Street, in Richmond, just a couple of blocks west of the state capitol. Elizabeth was the sister of William Bernard Meredith, who enlisted in the Confederate army at the start of the war and would die from typhoid, in Richmond, in August of 1862, at his parent’s home on Franklin Street.

Elizabeth Meredith, after the Civil War, married John Preston Cocke; Cocke, while a cadet at VMI, during the Civil War, was part of the famed Corps of Cadets that participated in the Battle of New Market. After the war, Cocke, in deference and respect for Gen. R.E. Lee, transferred to Washington College, in 1865, where Lee had become president. Cocke later graduated from the University of Virginia law school and became a prominent attorney in Richmond.

This brooch is Victorian rose gold; a small, round corner, ornate gold rectangle surrounds what appears to be a small black onyx rectangle in the center of the brooch. The smaller gold rectangle is, in turn, surrounded by a larger, round cornered rectangle of black onyx, which is then surrounded by a second, larger ornate gold rectangle. The attachment device is a typical T-pin, often found on Civil War era jewelry. The brooch is attached, as are all other items in the Cocke-Meredith collection Perry Adams now has, to a period piece of paper identifying this brooch as having belonged to Elizabeth Bernard Meredith (Cocke). The brooch is in excellent condition. The brooch measures as follows: Length – 113/16“; width – .75″

Elizabeth Bernard “Bettie” Meredith Cocke

Birth: Oct. 6, 1848 Richmond, Virginia            Death: Nov. 2, 1922 Richmond, Virginia

Wife of John Preston Cocke.; Daughter of Judge John A. Meredith, long-time Circuit Court judge, and who along with Mayor Mayo surrendered the City to advancing federal forces on 3 April 1865.

Parents: John Alexander Meredith (1814 – 1882) and Sarah Ann Bernard Meredith (1817 – 1889)

Spouse:  John Preston Cocke (1845 – 1917)

Children: Ella Meredith Cocke (1873 – 1966), Edmonia Madison Randolph Cocke (1879 – 1886), Elizabeth Preston Cocke (1891 – 1981)

Siblings: William Bernard Meredith (1839 – 1862), Mary Ella Meredith (1843 – 1864), Sally Roane Meredith (1845 – 1846), Elizabeth Bernard Meredith Cocke (1848 – 1922), Charles Vivian Meredith (1850 – 1930), John Clopton Meredith (1852 – 1856), Edward D. Meredith (1852 – 1879), Wyndham Robertson Meredith (1859 – 1940), Lelia Bernard Meredith Manning (1861 – 1947)

Burial: Hollywood Cemetery - Richmond, Virginia